Category: linkedin

7 Must-Know LinkedIn Tips for Executives

LinkedIn_Tips_Executives_Laura_Smith-Proulx.jpgAs the most critical site for leaders to express their personal brand, LinkedIn is the place to see and be seen.

But are you making the most of it?

If your LinkedIn activity has been relegated to updating a few words and reading status updates, you could be missing out on significant opportunities.

Employers and executive recruiters WILL search for you online! By crafting a strategy for how to present yourself and build a leadership presence, you’ll be better positioned for job search results.

Here’s what you need to know to extract the best out of LinkedIn:

1 – Updating Your Profile Doesn’t Automatically Signal a Job Search.

Yes, others will see that you’ve made changes… but will your boss confront you about it? If my conversations with executives are any indication, probably not. In fact, I can assure you that your CEO is either doing the same or thinking about it.

You can prevent announcements of your updates (see your Privacy Settings for more information), but there’s no way to keep others from seeing them forever.

If you are still concerned about “giving yourself away,” either update your Profile slowly over time, or apply changes from the bottom up to start getting stronger traffic from keyword searches. Less-obvious activity can still help you get the benefit of a well-designed keyword strategy.

2 – What You Like or Comment On Forms a Significant Part of Your LinkedIn Brand.

ALL of your LinkedIn activity (Likes, Comments, Posts, Articles) will shape public perception of you as an executive leader. Take a look at your colleague’s Profiles and you’ll see an Activity section showing the past 5-6 actions they’ve taken, whether it’s contributing their own input or simply raising that article’s visibility by liking it.

It goes without saying that if your activity on LinkedIn isn’t aligned with your professional interests (and it’s leaning toward inflammatory subjects including news reports or political debates), stop and reconsider the message you’re sending.

Your best bet is to follow thought leaders in your field and companies that interest you, with brand-appropriate commentary on subjects reflecting your expertise.

3 – Your Headline Shouldn’t Be Left to Chance.

LinkedIn is so eager to provide you with a ready-made Headline that it will pick up your current job title as a default. While COO, XYZ Manufacturing might seem good enough, it’s still leaving out plenty of information about you as a leader.

If you’re like most executives, it might seem awkward to brag about your achievements. Rest assured, though: plenty of social media users (including those competing for your next C-suite job) are already doing it.

Read A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline for some straightforward alternatives, including ways to pull in a career-defining accomplishment without over-the-top self-promotion.

4 – Leveraging Other Corners of LinkedIn Can Separate You From the Pack.

Have you added videos, white papers, awards, foreign language skills, certifications, or professional memberships to your LinkedIn Profile? You could be missing out on little-used sections of LinkedIn that can add credence to your brand message.

In addition, some of these sections appear to have a strong pull in the site’s search algorithm. For example, a Cybersecurity credential added in Certifications could further distinguish you in a search on technology executives.

The next time LinkedIn prompts you to consider adding more career-focused data, take a closer look at Certifications, Honors & Awards, Publications, Projects, Languages, Test Scores, Courses, Patents, Volunteer Experience, and Organizations.

By identifying and adding new information in these sections, you could experience a boost in new Connections or recruiting requests.

5 – The First 40 Words in Your Summary Are Critical.

With LinkedIn’s continual new rollouts, your Summary snapshot (what is shown when another user clicks on your Profile) reveals only some of your text – so just the first 282 characters, including spaces (147 on LinkedIn’s mobile app) will be shown.

As mentioned in 282 Reasons to Rewrite Your LinkedIn Summary Now, most people will not take the time to read further, so it’s best to put salient information up front.

I recommend including your target role and career level, as well as notable skills and achievements. Keep it light on the bullets or special characters to preserve space.

This example shows a great Summary introduction that can turn heads:

COO, Global Electronics Manufacturing. Turnarounds in PE-Owned & Public Companies (US, EMEA, APAC). 20% Annual Gains in Operating Efficiency. Sales & Ecommerce Strategies for Fast Growth & Strong Consumer Response. Cultural Change & Team Mentoring for Better Productivity & Cost Control.

6 – Accepting (Most) Connections Can Help Get You Where You Want to Go.

It’s never been a good idea to reject every invitation on LinkedIn. Even if you don’t personally know a user who reaches out to you for a Connection, you can start building a relationship. The first step, of course, is actually accepting the request.

As outlined in Are You Still Rejecting Connection Requests?, you’ll build a strong brand and elevate your reputation among other leaders by broadening your network. At least 500 to 1,000 connections seem to be the tipping points for a well-optimized network.

7 – Using the Right Photo Will Strengthen Your Message.

Just about everyone makes snap judgments based on visual impressions; employers are no different. Spending hours on your LinkedIn Profile, then adding a headshot unworthy of your reputation creates cognitive dissonance in your message (which is marketing-speak for confusion).

Now is the time to create a strong strategy for your LinkedIn Photo, whether this means  studying headshots of other executives for competitive intelligence or contacting a professional photographer.

Looking the part is important! The right headshot tells peer executives, employers, and subordinates a story of your personality, confidence, and leadership skills.

So don’t leave your executive brand message to chance on LinkedIn! Take the time to plan and execute an effective strategy for populating important sections and expressing your executive strengths.
Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

 

Are You Faceless on LinkedIn?

Businessman holding a question mark paper in front of his faceMaybe you’ve filled in your LinkedIn Profile with all the right data: an attention-getting Headline, solid Summary, robust Skills, and appropriate Experience / Education.

However, it’s possible your carefully selected LinkedIn Photo doesn’t even show up!

Why? You neglected to make it visible.

That’s right: people outside your network cannot see you unless your Profile Photo Visibility is set for Public views. Here’s why this is important:  according to LinkedIn, the ability to see your face online can net you up to 21 times more Profile views.

Think this is a no-brainer? Think again.

Countless faceless Profiles exist, either lacking a Photo or refusing to show it. Yours could be among them if you haven’t checked Visibility settings.

So you not only need to select and upload a great headshot, but if you don’t take the right steps, it won’t be seen by prospective connections (in other words, recruiters or employers).

If you still think photos should only be shown to your connections, think about what happens when you’re confused and trying to track someone down on LinkedIn.

Without a photo, how can you tell if you’re looking at the right Profile? Remember, you’re on LinkedIn to build professional connections and establish rapport:  both are crucial steps to reaching next-level career success.

Changing your Photo from faceless to easily found is simple. Sign into LinkedIn and click on your photo; you’ll see “Visibility” at the lower right-hand corner. Clicking here will show you the current settings and allow you to select Public. If you’re uploading a Photo for the first time, you’ll see that Visibility defaults to Public.

Nothing is as unique as your face – so ensure your LinkedIn audience can match your it to your value proposition, name, and reputation.
Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

 

LinkedIn Resume Assistant: Will It Help You Create a Strong Resume?

LinkedIn Resume Assistant

It’s here! LinkedIn’s new Artificial Intelligence-powered resume tool, Resume Assistant, has rolled out to Office 365 users.

By promising to ease the challenge of writing your resume, this new capability has caught the attention of many job hunters.

However, Resume Assistant is much like any tool purported to streamline your job search: it works best when you see it as another way to improve the process, not as a means of handing off the process itself.

Here are the pros and cons of using LinkedIn Resume Assistant to develop a compelling resume: Continue reading “LinkedIn Resume Assistant: Will It Help You Create a Strong Resume?”

Why You’ll Benefit From Using LinkedIn Publishing for Your Job Search

LinkedIn Publishing PlatformIf you haven’t tried LinkedIn’s Publishing platform for your job search, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity to promote your personal brand and leadership skills to employers.

There’s no limit to the topics or volume of posts allowed per user, and with an international recruiting audience ready at your virtual feet, there’s no reason to hold back!

Still hesitant? Consider these near-instant benefits to your job search from publishing: Continue reading “Why You’ll Benefit From Using LinkedIn Publishing for Your Job Search”

How to Optimize Your Executive LinkedIn Profile for SEO

LinkedIn Profile SEOIn case you haven’t heard, LinkedIn now has 500+ million members – establishing itself as a hotbed of job search activity, with recruiters pursuing candidates and job seekers vying for attention from hiring decision-makers.

With such fierce competition, you’ll need to employ aggressive keyword and SEO strategies in order to be found for a choice job.

Here are the best ways to boost your findability on LinkedIn and optimize your Profile for SEO, including search algorithm strategy and keyword adjustments: Continue reading “How to Optimize Your Executive LinkedIn Profile for SEO”

How to Convey Your Leadership Brand in Your LinkedIn Profile

Put together a barely-there LinkedIn Profile, but you’re not sure how to expand it or make it stronger?

Nearly every executive I speak with laments the lack of time and ideas for creating an engaging, interesting LinkedIn presence.

Yet, all it takes is a quick glance at your Profile, changing it section by section, until you’re happy with the final result.

Try these strategies for building a strong, relevant portrait of your executive competencies on LinkedIn:

Continue reading “How to Convey Your Leadership Brand in Your LinkedIn Profile”

3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly

 

Want to use LinkedIn for your job search, but afraid that your employer will find out?

Worried that your boss or colleagues will react to changes in your Profile?

You probably know there’s no way to make your LinkedIn Profile 100% private; however, these tips will help you update LinkedIn during your job search – without giving yourself away: Continue reading “3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile on The Sly”

What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?

executive linkedin photoAfter seeing too many executive photos on LinkedIn that look like a hunting party or golf club outing, I have to ask:

What message are you trying to send with your headshot?

Omitting a LinkedIn photo isn’t a good idea, because many users prefer to connect with others who’ve provided an image.

However, if your headshot makes others reluctant to network with you or persuades recruiters to pass you by, it’s worth a second look. Ask yourself these questions to gauge the effectiveness of your Profile photo:

Continue reading “What Does Your LinkedIn Photo Say About Your Executive Brand?”

7 Phrases to Delete From Your LinkedIn Profile

Have you noticed? 

Phrases long considered taboo on resumes (like “self-motivated team player”) are making their way back into LinkedIn Profiles – and the outcome isn’t good.

Phrases to delete from your LinkedIn ProfileThese mundane phrases only make it more difficult for employers to see your ROI as a candidate! They have to look past these overused terms to even FIND your unique value proposition.

With a little ingenuity, however, you can pull the lackluster phrases out of your Profile and replace them with powerful writing attuned to your personal style and energy.

Here are some of the worst offenders lurking among LinkedIn Profiles, along with suggestions for alternative wording:

1 – Accomplished professional.

If this is really true, then show (don’t tell!) your readers about it. This phrase is likely to prompt more annoyance from employers than appreciation.

Instead, consider using a sentence or phrase that speaks specifically to your achievements and career stature, as shown here:

  • Sales rep distinguished by closing 153% of quota in 2017
  • IT Director heading millions in outsourcing contracts at global banks

In addition, you can add accomplishment data (right in the Summary) that cuts to the heart of what you do and why you’re good at it, with sentences such as these:

  • Sales manager honored for coaching 3 Top Producers
  • Operations manager promoted for increasing production line efficiency

2 – Results-driven.

Most companies plan on hiring someone who fits this description, and they weed out anyone who doesn’t perform to their expectations. It’s almost to your detriment to point this out in your Profile.

You might try adding information that actually PROVES your drive for results, with mention of how you’ve earned a promotion in just 6 months, or the ways in which your performance has outpaced that of your peers.

3 – Exceptional communicator.

The trouble with this phrase is that it’s not only tough to prove, but that the person using it often misspells one or more words (really).

Since your LinkedIn Profile gives you plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills, you’ll have the opportunity to convey complex concepts or perhaps distill a major project into a short description… both of which would speak louder about your communications skills than this phrase ever will.

4 – Proven success.

Well, employers would hope so. After all, why mention your success unless you have some proof to back it up?

Here’s where you’re better off noting some metrics, as in:

  • Exceeded quota for 7 out of past 8 years
  • Brought company to 87% market share
  • Met 100% of project budget constraints despite limited resources

These achievements can help online readers understand the scope of your work and the reasons behind your career progression.

5 – Experienced.

Ahem… of COURSE you are.

Even worse, successful experience is so redundant you’re wasting space and LinkedIn keyword optimization by even thinking of these phrases.

One way to replace this word is to simply specify the number of years you’ve worked in the industry.

However, be careful here:  16 years of experience in sales doesn’t quite have the same ring as Generated 27% average over-quota revenue throughout progressively challenging sales roles.

6 – Responsible for.

Just like a resume, there is no reason to clutter the landscape of your Profile with a phrase that is largely assumed.

Rather than use this phrase, you can just skip to the relevant facts (managed $4.2M budget, oversaw 12-state region, supervised staff of 35) and save everyone’s time.

7 – Microsoft Word skills.

Unless you’re targeting an entry-level or editing job, there’s no advantage to listing basic skills possessed by nearly all applicants. In fact, employers might be more surprised if you lack these capabilities.

Instead, research target jobs for desirable skills and keywords that can help pull in traffic from recruiters seeking specific competencies.

By taking a long look at your LinkedIn Profile, you should be able to see if you’re committing the SAME mistakes that have been appearing on resumes for years.

If so, it’s time to refresh your approach and provide specific details on the high points of your career—information that others can readily relate to (and even use to hire you) from your LinkedIn Profile.

Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

Are These LinkedIn Problems Affecting Your Job Search?

Frustrated with your LinkedIn results?

Does any of this sound familiar?linkedin slow job search

  • You send LinkedIn messages to others, but they don’t respond
  • You’ve filled in your LinkedIn Profile, but you’re not sure it represents you or your brand
  • You see a stream of Congratulations messages for others (who’ve landed jobs that should go to you)

Take a look at these common dilemmas and resolutions:

1 – You put in the minimum effort when writing your LinkedIn Profile.

Continue reading “Are These LinkedIn Problems Affecting Your Job Search?”